TRIO Alumna Viola Davis

METS, as a TRIO program, is part of a larger family of similar programs. The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) is the national association of TRIO programs. Recently, they introduced a new feature on their website that will highlight notable alums from programs similar to METS. This first post highlights actress Viola Davis, who is an alumna from the Upward Bound program at Rhode Island College.

blog-010317When internationally-acclaimed actress Viola Davis gains her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Jan. 5, two special people will be among the many around the world cheering her on: Her older sister, Deloris Grant, and the sisters’ earliest acting coach, Ron Stetson.The federal Upward Bound program links all three.

As teenagers, Deloris and Viola in 1979 enrolled together in the six-week intensive Upward Bound program at Rhode Island College. They did so during the one and only summer that Stetson worked in the college prep, student success program for those who are low-income or “first generation,” meaning their parents did not obtain a college degree.

To read more about Viola and her TRIO experience, go to the COE blog.

7 Questions with Joey B.

7 Questions is an ongoing series we are working on, where alumni from METS report back about their college experience. This time, we’re hearing from Joey, who graduated in 2015.

What college are you attending, and what is your major?

I am actually a transfer student. I went to the University of New England and ended up switching to Boston University my Sophomore year. I study Biology with a Pre-Veterinary Medicine track. I also am doing a minor in Music Performance.

What helped you decide on your major?

I have always had an affinity for animals and the thought to be a veterinarian came naturally to me. Music was also a major theme in my life so college was the perfect place for me to expand my horizons with a topic I love.

What was your favorite class in college, and why?

American Politics, believe it or not. The Teacher was a very left wing democrat and the T.A. was a very right winged republican.  Every day they would debate in class over policy. It was a very enjoyable class that made me think critically about the things I find important for building our future. It was also a class where a lot of controversial subjects were talked about on a daily basis.  I felt challenged and offended a few times which was great practice on how to deal with situations of the same nature.

Are you working in the same field as your major?

Currently I am not, but there are plans in the works right now for me to do an internship in a veterinary office shadowing a vet and learning under him. More news to come.

Were there things you felt unprepared for when you went to college?

YES! The workload is increased exponentially. Especially if you take subjects you aren’t very familiar with. The time outside of class to learn a subject almost quadrupled for me. There isn’t much reviewing in college which makes you the one responsible for finding ways to get the knowledge in a way that you feel you understand the material.

How do you feel METS helped you prepare for college?

Definitely in the financial aspect of college. All the application help is exceptional and I felt the most I got from it was the financial awareness. I know more about my loans and my college finances than most of my peers.

What advice would you give to METS students?

Take every chance and opportunity given to you. College is a place to explore yourself and find things that challenge you and make you better and more well rounded. If you don’t try new things, you’ll never know what truly excites you. Study abroad. Go to events. Study hard but don’t miss out on the fun and adventure of college.